Justice-style raw, gritty synth sound. How to get?

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naphini
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Justice-style raw, gritty synth sound. How to get?

Post by naphini » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:58 pm

I'm wondering if anyone knows what gear I should use (synth, distortion?, other FX?) to get the sick synth sound that Justice often uses. Here's a link to a good example, on youtube (if you can hear what I mean over the crappy mp3-ness)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ze8xvJAB0dA

I just haven't been able to get anything quite that gritty. And attempts to look up their gear-list online have been less than successful. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Post by Joey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:31 am

take your ms2000, two detuned saws, unison

use the internal distortion, and then an external fuzz pedal

compress the s**t out of it

double it and put it in stereo if possible
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:50 am

Image

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Post by killedaway » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:37 am

i think bit reduction will get you a lot closer to the sound you want vs. typical fuzz/distortion... it's a lot more adept at achieving that crisp and gappy (but still bassy) sound. also, i agree with Joey: compress like it's going out of style.
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Post by tyrannosaurus mark » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:41 am

Yeah, it's just about how you compress the different sounds in relationship to other sounds in the mix. I've noticed that when some things in justice mixes kick in they have real punch because they drive back other sounds a little, like a meteor landing or something

But yeah, just some extreme distortion and a few juno type sounds should get you close
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Post by naphini » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:58 am

well, yeah, i can definitely hear the distortion in their overall mix, but i was having trouble trying to get that synth sound.

OK. So I tried the suggestions above. Don't have access to a distortion pedal at the moment so i used a couple different distortion plugins from Logic. I doubled the tracks and panned them, as suggested, and I used 4 oscillators on the patch (instead of the suggested two. i think it sounds bigger)

here's the result (i didn't quantize it or anything):

http://www.sikaband.com/temp/test1.mp3

What do you think? Any further suggestions? It's not identical to be sure, but it does sound pretty big I guess.
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Post by naphini » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:05 am

killedaway wrote:i think bit reduction will get you a lot closer to the sound you want vs. typical fuzz/distortion... it's a lot more adept at achieving that crisp and gappy (but still bassy) sound. also, i agree with Joey: compress like it's going out of style.
Do you mean bit-depth reduction? like how much?
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Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:12 am

I'd guess that's a synth using two sawtooth oscillators, an octave apart. Going through a low-pass filter, with about 50% resonance. Definitely sounds analogue.

Definitely hearing heavy clipping from distortion. Possibly with some EQing to remove extra high-end. There's definitely no bit-reduction going on there; I can't hear the aliasing you'd expect.

That sound about right, Reppers?

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Post by naphini » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:17 am

hmm... well, i tried using Logic's "bitcrusher" distortion on top of what i'd already done, and reduced it to 4 bits. I think it sounds a little more like the original, and definitely grittier:

http://www.sikaband.com/temp/test2.mp3

Still not as good as theirs. Do you think I need an analog synth for this? That's kind of what I was originally thinking.
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Post by killedaway » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:21 am

naphini wrote:hmm... well, i tried using Logic's "bitcrusher" distortion on top of what i'd already done, and reduced it to 4 bits. I think it sounds a little more like the original, and definitely grittier
yeah, that's a lot closer. can you reduce the frequency as well? (i'm not familiar with any software stuff)
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Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:24 am

That's sounding pretty bad-a*s, pat yourself on the back.
Still not as good as theirs. Do you think I need an analog synth for this? That's kind of what I was originally thinking.
No I don't think you do. But you do need to lose some of that crisp VA edge. EQ the top-end down a bit.

I still don't think it's bit-reduction, but distortion (...but I could be wrong!).

I'm no expect, but feeding that through a low-pass filter (not on the synth) and distortion might do the trick. Software VST effects would do fine.

If you don't have a low-pass filter VST, try here http://www.digilogue.de/

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Post by naphini » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:26 am

yeah, i can downsample it, but i tried it already and it doesn't really sound good. either you can't tell the difference, or it starts to sound like a video game :)
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Post by Amos » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:32 am

put the bass on a compressor that has a side-chain input. Feed your kicks to the side-chain input. Adjust the threshold and compression level until the bass sucks back when the kick hits and blooms in between kicks. You'll get thumpy pumpy goodness. Here's me doing that with a simple bassline and kick, lots of compression:

LINK

(not the Justice sound, but an example of the bass compression thing...)
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Post by killedaway » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:56 am

okay, here's a quick try at the basic vibe of the bass. it's the VPM (variable phrase modulation) OSC type on my EMX-1, using the internal decimator (read: bit reduction) and compressor, and then a hint of EQ in Tracktion. they do seem to be using some typical distortion in order to get those harmonic overtones (am i saying that right?), but i really think bit reduction goes a long way toward getting that crackly, brittle sound, which i think your second example achieves more than your first.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:38 am

killedaway wrote:i think bit reduction will get you a lot closer to the sound you want vs. typical fuzz/distortion... it's a lot more adept at achieving that crisp and gappy (but still bassy) sound. also, i agree with Joey: compress like it's going out of style.
I wasn't talking about typical fuzz/distortion, I was talking about the HM-2. It's like a super gritty cutting EQ. I've also got a Frostwave Sonic Alienator and I'd use the HM-2 over it to get that sound.

Juno through HM-2 gets you so close to Justice's bass sounds I'd be surprised it's not exactly what they used on some tracks. I know because my band has them both.

Oh yeah, and the compressing like it's going out of style; it is. :D

I can't listen to that album all the way through on a decent system, it hurts my ears. It's a pity, cause I really like a couple of tracks on it.

But it's more important to use whatever you have to make your own sound than to copy someone elses. Learning how to use your gear well enough that you can make any sound including other people's is good, sounding like someone else isn't. IMO.

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